Researchers to investigate oscillation issues in grid

Transmission towers against sunset (ausnet community fund)
Image: Shutterstock

Monash University has secured almost half a million dollars in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to investigate oscillation issues in Australia’s national energy grid.

The $1.3 million project will develop a tool to help identify the root causes of oscillatory instability and identify potential solutions. The tool will be suitable for use by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSPs), and will have applications for system planning, grid connection and operations purposes.

Related article: Monash opens specialist CO2 products research hub

The tool that is being developed by researchers at Monash University will allow faster solutions to the growing challenge of oscillatory instability, helping system planners design a more resilient grid.

The project is expected to reduce barriers to the connection and operation of inverter-based resources by helping system planners avoid upcoming oscillatory stability issues that can be caused by high levels of wind and solar and find solutions for this.

In today’s power system, oscillatory instability is most often a symptom of low system strength. In 2019-20, oscillatory instability was observed in the West Murray Region, leading to AEMO reducing the output of five solar farms while it worked through its understanding of the cause and potential solutions.

If successful, the project will provide faster insight into the nature and origin of these sorts of events, which will help all stakeholders be more proactive to manage the associated risk.

Related article: Reactive takes grid inertia measurement tech to Taiwan

Director of Monash’s Grid Innovation Hub, Associate Professor Behrooz Bahrani, said, “Enhancing the resilience and stability of our national energy grid is paramount as we accelerate our transition to renewable energy. With the expertise of Monash University researchers and the support from ARENA, this groundbreaking project promises to address current oscillation challenges and pave the way for a robust, reliable and renewable future for our energy infrastructure.”

ARENA has previously funded Monash University to research inverter designs that promotes stable operation in weak grid conditions. The outcomes found in the 2020 study will be used for the current study to show how multiple IBR’s interact with one another across the National Electricity Market (NEM) and how oscillation issues can be resolved.

Previous articleRewiring the Nation? Not without apprentices, sparkies warn
Next articleOctopus snaps up Queensland’s largest proposed battery